Nepali, Indian Prime Ministers agree to strengthen bilateral relations

imagesKATHMANDU, Dec. 31 (Xinhua)– Nepali Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi held a telephone conversation on Thursday morning on bilateral ties, officials said.

The conversation between the two prime ministers came amid the soured bilateral ties triggered by the Indian government’s unofficial embargo on Nepal.

During the 20-minute talks, the two prime ministers agreed to bring the bilateral relations into a normalcy, Prime Minister Oli’s foreign affairs senior expert Gopal Khanal told Xinhua on Thursday.

“The conversation was especially focused on ways on strengthening India-Nepal relations. Prime Minister Oli conveyed to the Indian prime minister that Nepal wants to have a cordial relationship with India,” Khanal said.

The Nepali prime minister drew attention of his Indian counterpart Modi to help smooth supplies of fuel, essential goods and medicine to Nepal through bordering points including the Birgunj-Raxual which have been blocked for months due to the unofficial trade embargo imposed by India.

Responding to Oli, Modi argued that India has never restricted fuel and essential goods to Nepal.

“India wants smooth supplies of essential goods and fuel to Nepal,” Modi said during the conversation.

The two prime ministers also discussed about resolving the Madhes movement in the southern plains of Nepal bordering India, Khanal said.

Modi also invited Oli to pay an official visit to India at the earliest date.

While accepting the invitation, the Nepali prime Minister said that he will visit India at a convenient time.

Prime Minister Oli also thanked his Indian counterpart for his country’s welcoming remarks on a recent decision taken by the Nepali government to amend the Constitution in view of addressing demands raised by the agitating Madhesi parties, according to a press statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office in Kathmandu.

Earlier last week, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs welcomed the Nepali government’s decision to amend the new constitution.

The Indian embargo has led to a humanitarian crisis In Nepal due to shortage of fuel, life-saving medicines and basic commodities.

India has denied any kind of embargo on Nepal saying the protests by Nepal’s ethnic Madhesi groups on the Nepal side of border points blocked fuel and essential commodities to Nepal from India.

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